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Jel Classification:D12 

Working Paper
Heterogeneity in the Marginal Propensity to Consume: Evidence from Covid-19 Stimulus Payments

We identify 22,340 recipients of Covid-19 Economic Impact Payments in anonymized transaction-level debit card data from Facteus. We use an event study framework to show that in the two weeks following a sudden $1,200 payment from the IRS, consumers immediately increased spending by an average of $604, implying a marginal propensity to consume (MPC) of 50%. Consumer spending fell back to normal levels after two weeks. Stimulus recipients who live paycheck-to-paycheck spend 62% of the stimulus payment within two weeks, while recipients who save much of their monthly income spend only 35% of the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-15

Report
Insolvency after the 2005 bankruptcy reform

Using a comprehensive panel dataset on U.S. households, we study the effects of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), the most substantive reform of personal bankruptcy in the United States since the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. The 2005 legislation introduced a means test based on income to establish eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and increased the administrative requirements to file, leading to a rise in the opportunity cost and, especially, the financial cost of filing for bankruptcy. We study the effects of the reform on bankruptcy, insolvency, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 725

Report
Measuring student debt and its performance

Studies continue to indicate that higher education is frequently a worthwhile investment for individuals and that it raises the productivity of the workforce as a whole. While the rising cost of post-secondary education has not eliminated this "college premium," it has raised new questions about how growing numbers of students can make these investments. One solution to this problem is student loans, which have come to play an increasingly important role in financing higher education. Yet, despite its importance, educational debt is not well understood. Among the reasons is that there ...
Staff Reports , Paper 668

Working Paper
Owner-Occupancy Fraud and Mortgage Performance

We use a matched credit bureau and mortgage dataset to identify occupancy fraud in residential mortgage originations, that is, borrowers who misrepresented their occupancy status as owner-occupants rather than residential real estate investors. In contrast to previous studies, our dataset allows us to show that – during the housing bubble – such fraud was broad based, appearing in the government-sponsored enterprise market and in loans held on bank portfolios as well, and increases the effective share of investors by 50 percent. We show that a key benefit of investor fraud was obtaining a ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-53

Journal Article
Recent Changes in U.S. Family Finances: Results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances

Using data from the Federal Reserve Board's two most recent Surveys of Consumer Finances, this article provides a detailed picture of changes in the financial condition of U.S. families between 1995 and 1998. The financial situation of families changed notably in the three-year period. While income continued a moderate upward trend, net worth grew strongly, and the increase in net worth was broadly shared by different demographic groups. A booming stock market accounts for a substantial part of the rise in net worth, but the data also suggest that improvements in financial circumstances ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 86 , Issue 1 , Pages pp. 1-29

Discussion Paper
Can credit cards with access to complimentary credit score information benefit consumers and lenders?

Barclaycard U.S. is one of a growing number of banks offering cardholders free access to their FICO Credit Scores with credit card products. On November 19, 2014, Paul Wilmore of Barclaycard U.S. presented Barclays? rationale for offering this feature and provided his perspective on its development. He also discussed how consumers responded to this feature in terms of their spending, repayment behavior, and lifespan and intensity of their relationship with the bank. According to Wilmore, program participation is correlated with increased card spending, decreased credit utilization and ...
Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers , Paper 15-3

Newsletter
Helping Homeowners During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons from the Great Recession

The Covid-19 public health crisis has sharply reduced the earnings of millions of U.S. households, following the severe curtailment of economic activity needed to contain the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, households continue to confront their ongoing financial obligations. The ability of households to manage these obligations has important consequences for the speed at which the U.S. economy can recover from the current crisis. Households that are wiped out financially in the coming months will not be in a position to strongly resume spending once the virus containment issues have passed. ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 443 , Pages 9

Working Paper
On Intergenerational Immobility : Evidence that Adult Credit Health Reflects the Childhood Environment

Using a novel dataset that links socioeconomic background to future credit, postsecondary education, and federal student loan and grant records, we document that, even though it is not and cannot be used by credit agencies in assigning risk, background is a strong predictor of adult credit health. A relationship remains upon inclusion of achievement, attainment, and debt management metrics. These findings reveal a new dimension along which childhood circumstances persist into adulthood and imply that the many important contexts in which credit scores are relied upon to evaluate individuals ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-032

Working Paper
Forecasting Consumption Spending Using Credit Bureau Data

This paper considers whether the inclusion of information contained in consumer credit reports might improve the predictive accuracy of forecasting models for consumption spending. To investigate the usefulness of aggregate consumer credit information in forecasting consumption spending, this paper sets up a baseline forecasting model. Based on this model, a simulated real-time, out-of-sample exercise is conducted to forecast one-quarter ahead consumption spending. The exercise is run again after the addition of credit bureau variables to the model. Finally, a comparison is made to test ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-22

Working Paper
Monetary Policy and Birth Rates: The Effect of Mortgage Rate Pass-Through on Fertility

This paper examines whether monetary policy pass-through to mortgage interest rates affects household fertility decisions. Using administrative data on mortgages and births in the UK, our empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of when families were eligible for a rate adjustment, coupled with the large reductions in the monetary policy rate that occurred during the Great Recession. We estimate that each 1 percentage point drop in the policy rate increased birth rates by 2 percent. In aggregate, this pass-through of accommodative monetary policy to mortgage rates was sufficiently ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-002

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